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Extreme plasticity in reproductive biology of an oviparous lizard


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Olsson, M, Loeb, L, Lindsay, W, Wapstra, E ORCID: 0000-0002-2050-8026, Fitzpatrick, L and Shine, R 2018 , 'Extreme plasticity in reproductive biology of an oviparous lizard' , Ecology and Evolution, vol. 8, no. 13 , pp. 6384-6389 , doi: 10.1002/ece3.4247.

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Ecology and Evolution published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Most oviparous squamate reptiles lay their eggs when embryos have completed less than one-third of development, with the remaining two-thirds spent in an external nest. Even when females facultatively retain eggs in dry or cold conditions, such retention generally causes only a minor (Lacerta agilis) from an experimentally founded field population (established ca. 20 years ago on the southwest coast of Sweden) exhibited wide variation in incubation periods even when the eggs were kept at standard (25°C) conditions. Females that retained eggs in utero for longer based on the delay between capture and oviposition produced eggs that hatched sooner. In the extreme case, eggs hatched after only 55% of the "normal" incubation period. Although the proximate mechanisms underlying this flexibility remain unclear, our results from this first full field season at the new study site show that females within a single cold-climate population of lizards can span a substantial proportion of the continuum from "normal" oviparity to viviparity.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Olsson, M and Loeb, L and Lindsay, W and Wapstra, E and Fitzpatrick, L and Shine, R
Keywords: developmental plasticity, incubation, Lacertidae, reproductive mode, reproductive ecology, life history evolution, reptiles
Journal or Publication Title: Ecology and Evolution
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Ltd
ISSN: 2045-7758
DOI / ID Number: 10.1002/ece3.4247
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2018 the authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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